Friends Weekend on Mackinaw Island

In March, Greg and Colleen Paquin called and asked if we wanted to go to Mackinaw Island for a weekend in June. Greg found a special deal to stay at the Grand Hotel on the island and thought it would be fun to stay there with friends.

My first thought was “no” because I didn’t know if my disease would progress to the point that I wouldn’t be able to walk or talk. Then I thought about what Corey had said to me in January. Corey said, “You have the best friends and family around and if you can’t walk or talk they will help you.” We said “yes” and are so glad we did.

Mark, Chris, Kelly and I drove to Mackinaw on a bright and beautiful Friday morning. We arrived on the island and at our fancy hotel around 3:00pm. Within minutes of our arrival we met up with friends for happy hour in the Cupola Room at the Grand. You see, our friends love to celebrate life and are really good at it and so do we. After happy hour I took a nap so I was ready for a fun evening. All 25 of us dressed up and headed to a beautiful wine and cheese reception followed by a delicious five-course dinner. Before we went to dinner we were able to get everyone out on the steps of the Grand and Mallory Harris took this great photo of our Friday night friends.

Since Mallory was our photographer for our group shot, I want everyone to see how beautiful she has become, all grown up and working on Mackinaw Island for the summer. Mallory is with her amazing parents, Dan and Kelly Harris.

Saturday was another beautiful day to be outside exploring Mackinaw Island. Everyone did their own thing. Some went golfing, rode bikes, walked, shopped and took naps.

I looked up one of my high school classmates, Patti O’Neil LaPine, who is a manager at Murdick’s Fudge Shop. Patti moved to the island shortly after high school, married a man born and raised on the island and raised her family there. It was fun to see her and hear what it is like to live on this tiny island all year long. Patti surprised us with a box of delicious fudge that she had sent to our hotel room. Thank you, Patti.

Saturday night was another amazing night making more beautiful memories. About eight more Muskegon and Fremont friends joined us on the island for Saturday’s fun.

The whole weekend was magical with 34 friends coming together as one big happy family.

I am so glad I said “Yes.” Thank you Greg and Colleen.

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